Cars Talk

Mystery writer J.A. Jance pays attention to the cars her characters own. In Kiss of the Bees, it matters when a new tribal attorney on an Arizona reservation pulls up in a Saab 9000 rather than a Chevy or Ford pickup. Everyone notices.

So characters living in Far West Texas can’t drive just anything either.

With the nearest supercharger 100 miles away, Teslas are rare as Ferraris—though I’ve seen both out here recently.

But Mustangs and Camaros and other performance cars flourish because highways are smooth, traffic rare, and horizons far apart. (Even Carroll Shelby used to hang out in Brewster County.) Pickups and serious SUVs are even more plentiful.

So in The Window Trail both Deputy Shoot and Professor Harp drive Jeeps. Clayton’s is an old wood-paneled Wagoneer, a venerable classic that once belonged to his father. Claire drives a Cherokee XJ, unaware of its pedigree. But out west, high clearance and solid axles help you fit right in.

In The South Rim Trail, Claire updates her Jeep to a Wrangler Rubicon JL and we learn that Beatrice Shoot owns a venerable GMC pickup. Claire's younger brother Alex rents a Range Rover, Deputy Rangel finds use for a Ram Power Wagon, and a minor character tools around in a Peugeot. Not sure where he finds parts.

And the villains? I'll let you figure that out.

Should I mention I’ve owned four Jeeps?